Almost two weeks before it was due to be breached, the Rogue River went rogue on Aug. 11 and breached itself. The stretch of river below the now-defunct Gold Ray Dam is running free for the first time in 106 years.
A temporary dam that was built to hold the waters back while Gold Ray was removed gave way at 11:15 am and sent water racing downstream. Rafters and fisherman downstream had to be warned to let them know what twice the normal amount of water was coming down the river.
Crews will work around the now breached dam to remove the remaining half of the dam, powerhouse and fish ladder.
(This picture is from Rainie Falls, way the heck downstream, but we're going with it).
The beavers did it. And here we thought beavers built dams, not destroyed them...
Oregon's looking a little like an cable TV adventure show these days, between python attacks (Most Dangerous!), sea lion shooting (Most Deadly! [to the sea lion anyway]) and the Rogue River's recently revealed "Most Endangered!" status.
Well, not THE most endangered, but the Rogue River is the second most endangered American river, according to a report by American Rivers. The pristine river is simultaneously slated for logging as well as preservation. In a race to see who's faster â€” Congress or the BLM and timber industry â€” there's no sure bet on who's gonna win. But if the timber industry is the faster, it's the Rogue that's real loser.
Another federal agency causing drama is the National Marine Fisheries Service who gave the go-ahead on sea lion "culling" last month. The plan is to capture them, offer them to "marine parks" (Free Willy anyone?) and if there's no takers, shoot them.
A federal judge acknowledge that the Humane Society could prevail in court in the end, but the judge did not grant an injunction on killing the animals as the group couldn't prove irreparable harm if the injunction were not granted.
The dead sea lions may not agree with the whole no irreparable harm thing...
As a result of the ruling, Oregon and Washington state officials can go ahead and trap and kill the sea lions near the Bonneville Dam ( Like the terns the issue is salmon-eating). By the time the case makes it to court, the sea-lion trapping may already be a done deal.
On another note, the most exciting news to hit Eugene headlines today would be "Python attack!"
Indeed a python attempted to squeeze and eat an employee at Best Friends pet store in Eugene yesterday. The employee was saved by screwdriver-wielding fireman. But not until after it had already chomped a little on the employee and a Eugene cop.